Activity 1: The story of my name

Activity 1: The story of my name

In this activity, the participants are invited to share the story of their own name, its history and its meaning. The students learn more about each other, they learn to value each other’s background and they reflect on the connection between name, identity and cultural background.

Teachers can ask their students to inquire information about their name from their parents and to answer the following questions (might also be done as a homework):

  • Who chose your name and why?
  • Does it have a meaning?
  • Was it always like this or has it changed?
  • Do people sometimes pronounce or write your name in a wrong way?
  • Do you like your name?
  • How would you like to be called?
  • How do your relatives and friends call you?
  • Is there a different way of writing/pronouncing your name in another language?
  • In which language version do you like your name most?
  • Is there a story connected to your name?

Then the class will come together in a circle in class and the teacher invites the students to share the stories of their names. For this activity a flipchart or a board with the questions should be prepared. Nobody should be forced to answer all questions.

If you have time left, you can invite every participant to write his/her name on a paper and next to each letter of the name something typical for him/her, starting with the corresponding letter. It could be a characteristic, hobby, a person etc. Then everyone presents his/her ideas to the rest of the group.

A similar exercise can be found at: The “Listen“ Project (2019): The LISTEN Manual.